Opportunity Lost: Alex de Minaur's Australian Open Devastation

Alex de Minaur lost in the Australian Open fourth round for the third straight year

by Jovica Ilic
Opportunity Lost: Alex de Minaur's Australian Open Devastation
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Alex de Minaur entered the Australian Open as the biggest hope for the home nation. Alex brought three top-10 wins at the United Cup, including the one over Novak Djokovic. However, the Aussie could not extend that streak in Melbourne, falling to Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 in four hours and 14 minutes in the fourth round.

De Minaur felt devastated after the match, missing his opportunities and ending his campaign earlier than expected. Despite the disappointment, the Aussie is confident about his tennis, feeling eager to work hard and bring the necessary improvements that will help him to finish the season where he wants.

De Minaur fought hard at Rod Laver Arena, winning two tie breaks and opening two sets to one advantage. Still, Rublev outplayed him in the fourth and emerged at the top with a bagel in the decider, notching his tenth Australian Open quarter-final.

Rublev won 21 points more than his rival, outplaying him behind the first and second serve.

Andrey Rublev & Alex de Minaur, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The Russian played aggressive tennis, and the home star could not follow that pace, hitting too many forced mistakes.

The quickest exchanges up to four strokes made the difference, with Andrey beating Alex 103-72! De Minaur trimmed the deficit in the mid-range exchanges, but not enough to remain competitive. The Aussie missed his opportunities, converting three out of 16 break points and getting broken eight times, five in sets four and five.

The Russian made a better start and forged a 4-1 advantage in the first set. Alex climbed back to 4-4 before losing serve in game ten after a costly double fault, handing the opener to his opponent. They battled for 75 minutes in the second set, missing break chances in the middle of the set and introducing a tie break.

De Minaur moved 5-3 in front and landed a perfect lob winner for two set points. The crowd favorite painted a backhand crosscourt winner on the second, locking them at one set apiece after an hour and 57 minutes.

Alex de Minaur felt mighty disappointed after a tight loss in Melbourne.

The third set went on for 70 minutes, delivering another tie break.

Alex used a boost and forged a 5-2 advantage, serving well and breaking Andrey once. However, the Russian climbed back, fending off a set point in game nine and breaking back to level the score at 5-5. Rublev denied a set point on serve in game 12, arranging another tie break.

Alex grabbed four mini-breaks and earned three set points with a powerful serve. The Aussie painted a backhand down the line winner on the second, gaining two sets to one advantage and moving closer to the finish line after three hours and seven minutes.

Rublev led 3-0 in the fourth set before de Minaur erased the deficit. However, he hit a loose forehand in the sixth game, suffering another break and falling behind. Andrey served for the set at 5-3 and fired a service winner, forcing a decider after three hours and 44 minutes.

The Russian never looked back, breaking at love in the first game of the final set with a backhand winner and forcing the rival's mistake with another strong backhand in game three for 3-0. Andrey secured another break in game five, extending the gap and serving for victory at 5-0.

He wasted a match point and offered de Minaur three break chances to avoid a bagel. The Aussie missed them, and the Russian converted the second match point to advance into his tenth Major quarter-final.

Alex de Minaur, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

"It was a decent effort.

I took the better-ranked player into the fifth set. However, I'm completely devastated after missing a great opportunity in a match I strongly believed I could have won, but it just slipped away. Life goes on, and I hope to improve and take my tennis to the next level.

I had more chances than Andrey but could not execute them. I'm 3-1 against the top-10 rivals this year and doing the right things. If I keep working hard, I will finish the season where I want to," Alex de Minaur said.

Alex De Minaur Australian Open